Fortune or Misfortune?
The girl stood outside the building where she had been brought up. She hadn’t known any place else and had mixed feelings. It was here where they had taken care of her and had taught her to be grateful for everything. She felt a bit insecure. In her pocket she had the letter they had given her before she left. She was told to contact a lawyer, Mr. Trustmee, and she wondered why.
“Ah…Miss Fortune…, I’m pleased to hear you’re out of the orphanage. I hope you didn’t have a very bad time there.”
“Not at all, thank you. I have been told I should contact you but I don’t understand why.”
“You’ll understand soon enough. I have something very important to tell you. Could you come to my office?”
“Well, I suppose that’s OK as well but the matter we have to talk about is better to be handled face to face. In Bridgeport I have an office as well and I plan to go there tomorrow. We could meet there at… say 4 pm?”
The lawyer gave her the address and just as she wanted to say ‘thank you’ he disconnected.
Mister Trustmee was already waiting for her. After greeting each other, the man started talking. “Let’s go to the point… I take for granted you don’t know anything about your parents, who unfortunately passed away at a very young age.”
After a short silence he said “Your father came from a very wealthy family. You know… rich people often are envied by others. His parents, your grandparents from father’s side, died in a mysterious way, shortly after your birth. Investigations were made but very soon there were no more leads to follow.
With their death, you father inherited everything… even the envy generated around them. They had gone to an important social meeting leaving you under the care of a babysitter. They never came home again. The same mystery surrounds your parents’ death.”
The man sighed and turned around if though he concentrated on his memories. “Yes, I remember very well.” Your grandparents from mother’s side never were accepted by your dad’s family because of the big social difference. I think they never heard about the misfortunes that stroke their daughter. That’s how you ended up in the orphanage. We considered it better to avoid greediness from people who wanted to adopt you… Everybody knew that you would inherit a very large and uncommon fortune when reaching the age of eighteen years.”
The whole family fortune and that is quite a considerable amount of money. You won’t have to work the rest of your life. But… you have to accept all of the fortune and that means you will have to go and live in the former mansion of your ancestors and take care of it. You are not allowed to refuse or to sell the mansion. If you would, you would have to give up the family fortune. This condition is written in the testament.”
“Well… I don’t see anything bad in that!”
“Alright then, if you agree, you just have to sign the papers. I’ll give you the keys to the mansion and everything you need to access the bank account.” He looked out of the window and said “It would be a good idea to call a taxi for you because it’s getting dark already.” He called right away for a taxi.
“I don’t know exactly, but it seems that some misunderstanding occurred some centuries ago. The ancestors didn’t want to pay the architect all that was stipulated. Obviously they weren’t completely pleased with the final result of the house. Then the architect put some conditions. At least that’s what I’ve been told. I don’t know exactly what his conditions were but they had to accept it and he said that if they would stop living in the house, all of their family would be struck by disgrace. The family always kept that in mind but your grandparents decided to move to a modern house although they didn’t dare to sell the mansion. From that time on, disgrace after disgrace happened to the family.”
The lawyer answered: “It shouldn’t be so bad. The housekeeper received enough money for the rest of her life to tlive there and take care of the mansion. Do you think you need help?”
When she had left he looked pitiful and sighed “Poor, poor girl…”
Beth had a closer look at the official papers and became almost breathless when she saw how much she had inherited. It was good to be able to spend some money on new clothing and a new hairdo. That was the first time of her life she could do so.
She also decided to stay in the rented house during the time she needed to get her driver’s license because she wanted really to be independent in the full meaning of the word.
The following weeks she went to the town library to gather all the information she could about the place where she was bound to live… Some ‘far-away’ place in the SuumSim Entworld. She bought some traveler’s guides as well.
To be continued…